Sparkle Up Your Pool Area with Gorgeous String Lighting

Imagine stepping out into your backyard on a warm summer night. The air is filled with sweet floral scents and the gentle chorus of crickets. As you approach your pool, you’re greeted by the sight of shimmering, twinkling string lights reflecting off the water’s surface. The soft glow instantly transports you to a gorgeous oasis and sets the tone for a magical evening.

Hanging string lights above and around your pool area is an excellent way to create serious wow-factor. The right lighting can transform your pool from basic to extraordinary.


String lights emit a twinkling, festive sort of ambiance that feels celebratory and fun. They infuse personality and charm into any space – especially outdoor areas like your poolscape. The lighting possibilities are endless, allowing you to get creative. Mix and match different shapes, sizes, and colors of bulbs to design a custom arrangement that reflects your personal flair.

From classic incandescent to energy-efficient LED, string lights now come in many varieties suited for both indoor and outdoor use. We’ll break down the options to help you determine the best match for illuminating your pool after the sun goes down.

Determine the Right Type of String Lights

LED vs Incandescent Bulbs

The first choice to make is the type of bulb – LED or incandescent. LED string lights are the most popular option because they:

stringing lights over a pool
  • Last significantly longer – Up to 10 years or more!
  • Use 80-90% less energy
  • Emit brighter, clearer light
  • Remain cool to the touch for safety

While classic incandescent lights emit a warm, cozy glow, the bulbs burn out frequently and generate more heat. For pool lighting, LED is the way to go for longevity, efficiency, safety and vividness.

Different Shapes and Sizes

After choosing LED, the next decision is bulb shape and size. String lights come with bulbs resembling:

  • Mini globes
  • G40 globe size
  • Edison-style filaments
  • Candle flame shapes
  • Lanterns
  • Crystal and gem forms

Mini globe and Edison filament bulbs arguably suit pool lighting best for spreading a bright, ambient sparkle across your entire poolscape. The small bulb size blends into the background, letting the lights work their magic without competing for attention.

Rope Lights vs String Lights

You’ll also choose between rope lights or classic string lights. Rope lights feature bulbs encased inside a flexible plastic tube. This protects the bulbs and allows shaping the lights along fences, edges, railings, posts – wherever you want them. String lights offer more draping abilities across spaces. Both create gorgeous effects!

Waterproof Ratings

Finally, waterproof ratings are critical for pool lights. Check specifications to confirm a waterproof rating for outdoor use. IP65-IP67 ratings indicate the lights were tested to withstand exposure to water without leaking, sparking or failing.

Lighting TypeBest For
LED string lightsEfficiency, safety, longevity
Mini globe & filament bulbsAmbient sparkle
Rope lightsShaping & outlining
Waterproof ratingWithstanding moisture

Safety Considerations for Pool String Lights

Safety should be the number one priority when installing any pool lighting. We’ll review precautions for protecting people and property when using string lights around water.

Risk of Electrocution

Electricity + water = danger. String lights pose a high risk of electrocution if they fall into the pool while plugged in and powered on. To minimize risks:

  • Install GFCI outlet(s)
  • Position lights at least 10 feet above water level
  • Use only LED or plastic bulb options
  • Waterproof all connections

GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) outlets instantly break the flow of electricity if they detect a change in power. While GFCIs substantially reduce risks, take care not to rely on them as a substitute for vigilance and common sense.

Other Precautions

Beyond electrocution dangers, falling string lights could injure someone below. Consider these added precautions when positioning your poolscape lighting:

  • Securely mount strings using properly rated hooks, fasteners and hardware
  • Hide cords and prevent tripping hazards
  • Use shatterproof bulb options as secondary protection
  • Place lights out of reach from anyone standing inside the pool
  • Routinely check installed lights for wear, cracks or malfunctions

Ideal Places to Hang Gorgeous String Lights

Proper placement amplifies the drama and impact of your string lighting display. We recommend hanging them in these prime positions:

Pergola or Pavilion Roof

Lacing string lights atop a pergola, pavilion or covered structure frames your seating area in magical illumination. The lights dangling above instantly set an inviting tone for evening gatherings andactivities.

Trees, Posts or Tall Landscaping

Wrapping tree trunks, posts or tall landscaping elements in rope lighting outlines the features in a dreamy glow. Choose LED color options like warm white, amber or soft blue to accentuate textures and dimensions at night.

Cabana or Covered Patio

Stringing curtains of sparkling festoons across the interior roofline of a poolside cabana or covered patio casts a twinkling canopy overhead. The intimate scale makes the space feel like a secret garden hideaway after dusk.

Strategic Placement Ideas

Some other prime placement ideas for your string lights include:

  • Along the top edge of a pool enclosure or fence
  • Over lounge chairs and conversational seating
  • Around palms, bushes and other greenery
  • Across the interior of an outdoor kitchen
  • Draped between posts, columns or beams

Stunning Lighting Designs to Sparkle Up Your Pool

The overall arrangement, scale and positioning of string lights impact the look and vibe they impart. Let’s explore some stunning lighting designs to spark magic across your poolscape.

Accent Uplighting on Landscaping

Strategically aimed uplighting placed at the base of trees, bushes and tall plants grazes the foliage with flattering illumination. The light catches textures and colors, making them pop at night.

Festoons Over Lounge Area

Imagine lounging poolside near flickering lights dangling overhead from a pergola or canopy structure. Festoons strung overhead make it feel like dining under the stars every night!

Twinkling Lights Along Pool Edge

Outlining your pool’s perimeter in continuous strands of rope or string lighting emphasizes the size and shape of the water feature once the sun sets.

Illuminated Palm Trees

Wrapping palm trunks in strings of light makes them picturesque focal points after dark. The vertical lines of the trees and lights together anchor the overall lighting display.

Design ConceptLighting Approach
Uplighting plantsGrazes textures with light
Festoons overheadSparkling canopy effect
Pool edge lightingAccents water line
Wrapped palm treesIlluminated focal points

Tips for Installing Pool String Lighting

To execute your lighting design successfully, properly installing the string lights is key. Follow these pro tips:

Allow for Proper Drainage

Outdoor lights require ventilation and drainage to withstand moisture. Allow ample space between light strands and roof/ceiling structures so heat and condensation dissipate.

Use Weatherproof Hooks and Hardware

Because pool lights endure year-round outdoor exposure, using only corrosion-resistant, weatherproof mounting hardware ensures longevity.

Fasten Lights Securely

Comply with all manufacture mounting guidelines to keep string lights firmly anchored in place. Swaying strands not only look sloppy but also pose safety issues.

Check Lighting Frequently

Vigilantly check for any damaged cords, broken bulbs or malfunctioning lights. Promptly replace compromised components to stay safely illuminated.

Transform Your Pool Vibes with Dazzling String Lights

With gorgeous string lighting installed above and around your poolscape, the area takes on an entirely new personality after dusk. The dance and flicker of the bulbs over the water creates a celebratory ambiance that feels special.

Your oasis morphs into a festive lounge perfect for hosting vibrant evening gatherings and events. The scene sets the stage for fun memories of pool parties that last late into the tropical nights.

Set a Gorgeous Tone for Pool Parties

Picture an evening pool party accentuated by strings of glowing bulb and glittering reflections rippling across the pool. The energy instantly feels more lively and bubbly!

Extend Enjoyment into the Evening

Without proper lighting, pools become unusable once natural light fades. String lights let you enjoy the full backyard experience at night for swimming, games, dining and lounging the evening away.

Elevate Backyard Ambiance

Draping trees, fences and structures surrounding the pool ties the entire yard together in a cohesive look. Illumination makes hardscapes, plants and architectural features just as prized after dark.

By focusing on safety, installation, design and lighting selections optimized for the pool environment, you can decorate your waterscape with gorgeous string lights. Take time to enjoy the fruits of your lighting labor.

Host lively gatherings and parties, savor peaceful nights swimming under the stars, lounge fireside with a cocktail to appreciate the sparkling vibes. Your pool lighting dazzles and delights after the sun dips below the horizon!

We hope this guide on leveraging string lights provided you creative ideas and inspiration on wowing guests with a shimmering poolside oasis. Have any other questions? Let us know below!

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